…or, the time we walked a marathon in a day.
The first stop on our California road trip was, perhaps predictably, Los Angeles. (For full details on our California road trip see here). Whilst we weren’t absolutely desperate to visit the City of Angels, it made sense to stop here because it was most cost effective to fly in and out of LAX. Therefore, we spent a quick, jet-lagged 24 hours in Hollywood, ticking off some of the major tourist sites and getting our first taste of California.
$50 per person. We were definitely cautious with our money as it was the first day of the trip, so you could easily spend more than this. We had breakfast included in the hotel, ate at market stalls and fast food places and didn’t do any shopping, so we easily got buy on just under $50 each.
Hotels in LA can be expensive, and I set myself a budget of £100 per night for the entire holiday. We stayed at the Super 8, Hollywood for just £87 per night, which included parking and basic (yet free) continental breakfast. It certainly won’t be winning any prizes for luxury or style, but our room was surprisingly spacious and the location was incredible – just a 10 minute walk from Hollywood Boulevard.
Where to eat and what to do
One of the benefits of jet-lag induced early mornings is being up and about before the rest of the city has properly woken up. By 7:30am, we were strolling down the Walk of Fame, drinking in the iconic architecture and finding our favourite stars, free from the usual crowds of tourists.
The crowds start to gather by 9am, so we grabbed a Starbucks and headed towards the Farmer’s Market. Being apparently insane, and forever suspicious of public transport and LA traffic, we decided to walk all the way from Hollywood Boulevard to the Farmer’s Market in Fairfax. With hindsight, I would advise against this decision as it’s a really long way!
The Grove shopping centre is absolutely gorgeous, featuring floral displays, beautiful water features and an amazing Nike Store. However, the main attraction is the original Farmer’s Market – an historic LA landmark which opened in 1934. Rows of pastel formica-topped tables and parasols give the market a retro feel. We grabbed a doughnut and an apple fritter from Bob’s Donuts and Coffee, which were both excellent.
Following this, we (for the reasons mentioned above) decided to walk back towards central Hollywood. We stopped in at the famous Pink’s Hot Dogs for lunch but, despite its status as a Hollywood icon, we were disappointed by the lack of flavour and toppings.
Our afternoon was spent in Griffith Park, hiking up to the observatory and embarking on a quest to reach the elusive Hollywood Sign. It was the perfect way to enjoy the soft spring sunshine, and appreciate the grid structure of the city. Although we didn’t quite manage to find the right trail to reach the sign before dusk was falling, it was fantastic to appreciate the sheer scale of the city and I’m convinced I heard a rattlesnake in the bushes!
Although Hollywood wasn’t the number one destination on our road trip list, we had a wonderful time strolling the streets and soaking up the inevitable nostalgia of Hollywood. We may have accidentally walked a marathon but it was definitely worth it.